Making moves, not announcements. But, also, an announcement.
I have an announcement. (It’s at the bottom of the blog, if you’re too impatient to wait for it!) But before I make the announcement, I wanted to tell you why I’m making the announcement.
I learned something new today. Well, two somethings new. (Maybe it’s two new somethings? Whatever…) Here is what I learned:
1.) As it turns out, leaving even very, very short book reviews is super meaningful to Amazon’s tracking and algorithms. In fact, if an author has fifty positive reviews, even crazy short ones (like, “I enjoyed this book” or “Worth the price” or “Quick read”), then that author will get mentioned or highlighted in Amazon’s newsletters and other promotions. The author may even get included in things like the “also bought” recommendations. Just for having reviews. Here is the kicker: it’s only the number of reviews that are significant. Not the caliber, or length or anything. I learned this from Rebecca Lange, and author who posts on Instagram as @romance.fanatic.atheart.
2.) I’m not a very good supporter of other writers. This bit of news was harder for me to accept. I thought that I was decent… I’m an active reader and book buyer. I follow many authors on both Twitter and Instagram, and go out of my way to engage with “follow loops” and group reads and book clubs. But, unfortunately, I have been missing a very critical step in supporting other authors. Giving public book reviews.
In my defense, I never review stuff, not even books I’ve read and loved, because I am lazy. I am aware that laziness is a terrible defense, but it’s the absolute truth. In addition, since I am supposed to be writing for a living, I sort of save up my words. Admittedly, that another form of lazy, but, again, I try to be scrupulously honest.
So, this new information, that reviews matter and that I have been negligent, was somewhat disheartening. I mean, I love supporting authors, and I guess I assumed that the best, most straight-forward way to do that was to buy their books. And yes, obviously that’s good (thank you to everyone who has purchased and/or read Hidden in the Writer’s Room!), but I had legitimately no idea that there was a simple way to amplify that support: writing even the world’s shortest review.
I suck. (By the way, that is not the announcement.) Going forward, as a way to both apologize and make amends to my fellow authors, I’ve decided to do something about my oversight.
Finally, here’s the announcement: I’m going to start posting a review a day on my IG Stories!! Meaning, I’m going to go to both Good Reads and Amazon every single day, and post a review on a book that I’ve read (there are literally thousands, this will take me forever), and then I will announce it to that author on my stories.
If I’m being honest, I’m a little nervous that folks are now going to be able to chart my taste in books and will discover how exactly I spend way too much of my time (because it definitely isn’t writing like it should be!), but for the greater good, I’m going to do it anyway.
Be prepared to be dazzled.
Clearly, this is likely to have a pretty small impact initially. BUT, my hope is to encourage other authors to do the same. And, I truly hope that other readers will start to do it, too. That would have a huge impact!
I can’t promise that these reviews will be engaging or insightful – I’m focusing on getting it done, not on Pulitzer-prize winning critique – but I can promise they will always be honest. One thing I’m committed to: if I can’t say something nice, I won’t say anything. I’ve read enough good-to-great books to have no shortage of material. I’m going to start with my Kindle downloaded reads, but will likely branch out.
Anyhoo, that’s the announcement! The new feature started on my IG stories ASAP. Like, today! (They will live on in my IG Highlights and on my GoodReads profile, too, in case you miss any)
In love and laughter,